Trip Info: Southern California
The reports from Southern California are heartbreaking. Wildfires continue to engulf some of the most gorgeous real estate in our country, not to mention many of the top vacation destinations on our turf. Malibu. San Diego. Santa Barbara. Los Angeles. How bad is it? Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently declared a state of emergency for seven counties. If only we could Terminator these fires!
The natural disaster is tricky, because the fires can spread or switch direction with any slight change of wind. Until the emergency forest and fire departments contain the flames, those with plans to visit the Golden State should watch the developments with the same intensity as tracking a hurricane.
Some of the best sources of information are the city tourism agencies. The San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau, for one, has updates on the fires and links to such valuable resources as the San Diego County Emergency. The most recent reports on San Diego's site included a fairly substantial list of closed attractions: SeaWorld, Wild Animal Park, Legoland, Old Town Trolley Tours, etc., plus many museums inside Balboa Park. The county Web sites are also on top of the disaster; L.A. County's site posted an interactive map of the wildfires, including such crucial information as road closures and acres burned.
Also, check the airports' Web sites for smoke-related closings or delays before you depart. As of Monday, flights were on schedule at San Diego's airport, while LAX was just reporting the usual traffic snarls -- and temps of 79 degrees with a few clouds. Finally, confirm with your hotel that the property is fully operational, and don't visit an attraction until you double-check its status.
To date, there have been no calls for tourists to stay home. In fact, I always encourage folks to visit when destinations are not having their finest moments (just don't get in the way of the firefighters). California needs our support -- and buckets of water.
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Posted by: San Diegan | October 23, 2007 11:42 PM
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